Biti rules out joining Zanu PF

HARARE - Tendai Biti, the MDC secretary-general, yesterday said he would rather die than join President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF and reiterated that the 2013 elections were rigged.

The feisty lawyer has come under immense pressure after appearing to praise Zanu PF’s campaign strategies in the 2013 harmonised elections whose results were disputed by the MDC.

In a no-holds-barred interview with the Daily News at his Harare offices yesterday, Biti said he would never sell out the democratic struggle.

“I would rather die than join Zanu PF,” an emotional Biti said.

“I am a child of the MDC and I believe that more than ever, this country needs a strong and united MDC. I was part of the group of 10 who met secretly and conceived the idea of MDC and how it was to be formed... that (joining Zanu PF) will not happen.”

Biti told a public lecture at the Southern Africa Political and Economic Series (Sapes) last week that Zanu PF’s “bhora mugedhi” message resonated with the electorate.

“Zanu PF in the last election had a very simple message, ‘bhora mugedhi’,” Biti told the Sapes dialogue.

“Even a little woman in Chendambuya or Dotito just knew one thing, bhora mugedhi,” Biti told the Sapes dialogue.

“Even a little woman in Chendambuya or Dotito just knew one thing, bhora mugedhi. Perhaps we were too sophisticated, but what was our message because the message of change of 2000 is not the message for now.

“We were selling hopes and dreams when Zanu PF was selling practical realities. We (Zanu PF) are going to give you a farm, it’s there. We are going to give you $5 000 through (Savior) Kasukuwere’s ministry.”

Despite being captured on voice recorders, Biti denied that he had spoken glowingly of Zanu PF’s performance during the last election. 

While he claimed at his Sapes lecture that “we didn’t do well in 2013”, he said yesterday: “We ran the best campaign we have ever run. This election on July 31 was blatantly stolen period!

“I have not wavered and sold out to Zanu PF, that’s not true. I am clean I will always be clean, Zanu PF has nothing on me,” he said referring to allegations that he was under pressure to call for Tsvangirai’s ouster to fend off criminal charges arising from the GNU era when he served as Finance minister.

The secretary-general’s lecture last week gave rise to speculation that he was campaigning for Tsvangirai’s ouster, throwing the spotlight on his presidential ambitions.

But he said he had no presidential ambitions.

“I don’t want to be president of the MDC,” he said. “I have made that very clear to Morgan Tsvangirai himself.

“I’m a democrat and I didn’t wake up one morning saying that I’m going into opposition politics but circumstances forced me. Circumstances arising out of my great sense of justice forced me.

“I fought Zanu PF throughout my life. I fought Zanu PF on the streets and I fought Zanu PF in the courts and I will continue to be in these trenches until democratic change is achieved in Zimbabwe.”

The outspoken lawyer, who on Friday declared the suspension of his ally deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma “voidable”, said there was need to move away from politics of personalities.

“What I have learnt in the past few years is that we cannot put our faith in individuals,” he said.

“We have to put our faith in institutions, in constitutions and in teams. Let’s work as a team, let’s depersonalise issues. I also think that we must have a solid value system. Change without substance is no change at all.”

Asked whether he still had confidence in Tsvangirai’s leadership, he said: “Morgan Tsvangirai is the leader of the MDC and I absolutely have no doubt the MDC and its leaders will take the people of Zimbabwe to Canaan because it is the only viable and sustainable alternative to Zanu PF but we have our own internal issues which we have to deal with.

“But we need to refocus on our value systems.”

Comments (55)

Phew this multi- headed apparition is really taking us where none have been! At least he did not say he was misquoted..thank God.

gutter poet - 11 March 2014

i am starting to believe that daily news, newsday etc have joined the fun of not telling it as it, like the herald and the chronicle. they has been misunderstanding in the mdc, yes, especially in the way mangoma acted but does it mean it has to be reported in the way it has been reported as if there is no hope in this party anymore. because of wanting to sell their papers these media houses have blown some messages out of proportion. i am surprised that people like tamborinyoka can even buy into these stupid reports which make it exciting when people fight. when men and wife fight in most cases you dont give a picture that they are divorcing or dont draw a picture that they will end up like everyone. the fight happening now in mdc is a self cleansing act and will not end up like what happened in 2005 although many in zanu pf and the other mdc hope it will end like that. please send the right message all the time.

sammy - 11 March 2014

I would have been surprised if Mr Biti were to say otherwise. However he needs to understand that when you are a palyer, you never to pass the ball to the opponent player lest he scores for his side. It is a hard lesson though in these times. Yes it is not about personalities neither is it of parties but about the people.

mambo - 11 March 2014

Akapasirwa bhora re simbi na mangoma now he has come to his senses. Of course individuals come and go so should him and Tsvangirayi. They though need to do it the right way. 2016 they can easily push him out voti bhora mughedhi kana musango kana vachida havo Save voenda chinyararire, hapana ma fixed terms here now MDC?

Maita Manyuka - 11 March 2014

I agree with Biti when he says the ZANUPF message was very simple but I strongly disagree with him in many respects. Firstly as a lawyer and SG of the party I believe he had a lot of input in the crafting of the complicated JUICE that did not resonate well with the common man in the village. More so academically he is very right to present such an analysis but politically he is very wrong. Its as good as expecting the learned professor to admit that there are no sanctions .As much as he is at pains to show his loyalty to the party its now very questionable. If he does not harbour any ambitions to lead the party why then defend Mangoma and snub party rallies?

ALUTA CONTINUA - 11 March 2014

There we go again! What's next.

Changamire Dombo - 11 March 2014

“I fought Zanu PF throughout my life. I fought Zanu PF on the streets and I fought Zanu PF in the courts and I will continue to be in these trenches until democratic change is achieved in Zimbabwe.”..... really...wat about representing dat thug called GONO U re confused...simple

Yahweh rulez - 11 March 2014

I honestly think our newspapers are running out of political “scoops” The run they enjoyed highlighting the intense rivalry between MDC and ZANU PF streching over a decade appear to be coming to an end. I think its time we focus on Zimbabweans making a difference in our society. Lets celebrate our people. Politicians have failed us. They are all a bunch of selfish hypocrites seeking self enrichment. Nothing more.

taps - 11 March 2014

I think Mr Biti was emotional when he made those statements saying ZANU PF had an appealing and simple massage.He should be cautious because ZANU PF on thier weakness and that was one of them.He is also now afraid to be revealed of being the push behind Mangoma .

innocent - 11 March 2014

Biti is very naive in politics...he doesn't understand the political recipe of our country. An SG would run into media waffling about the internal issues of the...Why is he behaving like a baygon spayed cockroach. This guy had presidential ambitions but after realizing that he is fighting a brick wall he is backtracking now.Come congress you are gone....and we don't want you again near our party.You and Magoma your true colors are reflecting now. sold out when you where negotiating with ZANU-PF.

peter - 11 March 2014

consistency is important Biti. A butterfly mentality has no place in our struggle. Either you are with the MDC-T or you are with those who are against the MDC-T. When you start running to ZBC and getting acres of space on ZBC and ZTV , then certainly you would have gotten it wrongly. I hope you have matured from this and let me say one thing Biti if you still habour any Presidential intentions , you are still RAW and very IMMATURE. At this rate Chamisa is showing more maturity than you (yet we accept you should be more reliable , consistent and resolute as our Sec General .

Boorangoma - 11 March 2014

MDC -T Has to admit that ZANU PF was strategically superior than them in the past election. Times are changing and people want tangible things not promises.

Chi Bururu - 11 March 2014

Sammy.....I agree with you. maybe we just have to wait with our conclusion....otherwise if we rush we might be misled by these media. I doubted most of the reporting

Coach - 11 March 2014

The million dollar question is Who in the first place is Biti? Let him try to form a splinter group and he will taste the medicine.I winder how such shallow minds ended up being SGs and above all passing the law exam .

Taurai Tanetaisu - 11 March 2014

@ Boorangoma-If Chamisa comes out on ZBC I want you to be the first to call him a sellout.

wezhira wezhara - 11 March 2014

Biti is a charismatic lawyer you can depend on. That's why vana Gono vachida kusesera naye. He passed his law pasina tsvete.

Wings of change - 11 March 2014

Wezhira if Chamisa runs to the ZBC and ZTV and gets acres of space after every General cOUNCIL Meeting with his own position and not the official party position when he is not the official party spokesman then i would caution him . If he went further to assert that ZANU PF did not rig then i would tell him that he has lost it. Biti at this point in time is fighting to restore an image back. Its easy to lose an image but very difficult to get it back.

Boorangoma - 11 March 2014

His biggest mistake was to rush and make those silly comments with emotions. Biti being a lawyer should have known kuti with emotions you are bound to be offside and he was caught offside before bhora mugedhi.

Wings of change - 11 March 2014

Biti has realised that he was now on a losiing side and Tswangirayi has a massive following right across the country which is standing with him hence this backing off . The guy is totally out of reach with the poor masses that is why the guy is blindly following guys like Bennet who are not in the country .Sole my bra you have soiled youself indlozi le ndlala vele linjalo eiish!!!!

Dibulaanyika - 11 March 2014

I must be missing something. Zveshuwa ndarasika mu one room. Once upon a time the habitants of a crazed province of South Africa watched an epic tug team matches. In the red apparels, Biti and his tug partner Mangoma. In the green apparels, Chinamasa and his tug mate Goche. Laydees and gentlumem the winners of all the matches aaaaah re the greens. While I am being comical but Biti and his mate owe us an explanation as to how they were playing tenth fiddle to Chinamasa and Goche. It is now making sense and I cant be accused to think they were throwing away matches. I challenge Biti and his mate to avail all minutes during negotiations .

Achibald Gumbo - 11 March 2014

Lets forgive Biti and Mangoma ladies and gentleman. Lets make our politics clean. I sob for Biti

Courage - 11 March 2014

Ukufunda madoda ayisikho ukuhlakanipha. Abanye abantu bafundile kodwa belo buthutha, ANYONE CAN BE EDUCATED BUT IT TAKES A REAL "MAN" TO BE EDUCATED

mariyeti mpala - 11 March 2014

Like I said before the Media is selling us smokescreens instead bread/butter (corruption/tokwe-mukosi) pot hole, marange, airport road, land deal in Harare etc 1M$ weddings etc. Blaz Biti turn you guns and quick wits to the economy to restore credibity otherwise ... Here is what happenned the Official media reported on Salarygate to advance PF's factionalism and then found ah another benefit it was gaining credibilty. Now its using this to the oppo. while not smokescreening the initial Salarygate stories. And the oppo. has given the official Media an early easter egg and they will suckle for what its worth.

Smokescreens - 11 March 2014

Hey daily news talk to your WEBMASTERS this box it to narrow to grammar/poise/spell check. Have a loot at newsday's. See I typed loot instead of look.

Smokescreens - 11 March 2014

When Biti says he will never join ZANU he shows how much he has LOST ze marbles..ZANU is nicely ensconced in the driving seat they know they can only taint their image by welcoming an sickly ambitious and 'envious emulator of every man's good parts' into their ranks..Can he be trusted to do things the ZANU way..and a whole secretary general who is a lawyer to boot hanging his own party to dry in the wind like he did on TV. No one serious political party would welcome his kind into their ranks. He has said loud and clear that he CAN NOTbe trusted and will slit your throat at the earliest given opportunity. Frankly he has become very dangerous to HIMSELF never mind his politcal career which is just about in the gutter.

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Irrrigation Vs Climate change - 12 March 2014

@Chi Bururu, it's supposed to be 'superior to' and not superior than. Now you SAVE be very careful how you move around or what you eat now that it seems you cannot be removed the way your rivals had thought possible.

tomasi ndofeni tohwi - 12 March 2014

Daily news has been pro MDC T and its not.that's what happens when media houses supports certain political groups now they are exposed. They do not know what to write and they are caught between the rocks . Everyone knows that things are not well in MDC T so they have got no option than telling as it is

Hombre - 12 March 2014

Daily news has been pro MDC T and its not.that's what happens when media houses supports certain political groups now they are exposed. They do not know what to write and they are caught between the rocks . Everyone knows that things are not well in MDC T so they have got no option than telling as it is

Hombre - 12 March 2014

@Hambre are you not a bit confused. On one hand you accuse the Daily News of being pro-MDC-T, and then you later say that the paper is telling it like it is on the MDC leadership fights. So, which is which @Hambre? As for me, I say keep it up Daily News. You are by far the best news medium in Zim!

Mercy - 12 March 2014

Daily News please dont give this confused sellout platform to cause further despondency among our people. Let The Herald give him platform for he belongs there. However, I feel pity for the young man cause there is something seriously wrong around him and he does not know who to please. He probably jumped into bed with the devil who is baying for his blood. Sorry

Zimtroubles - 12 March 2014

You lost it man, we now know who you are, a sell out. Your job as a SG is on the line and soon you will be an ordinary card carrying member. How can you deny that ZPF did stole the election. I was in the voting queue on that day and among the hundreds of youths who were in the queue with me were eager to cast there their ballot and most were bitter that since graduating from school they have never seen or touched a payslip. So you think these youths voted for ZPF.

jackovic - 12 March 2014

MDC please gag this lunatic from speaking for the party. Last time I checked he was not the party"s spokesperson. CHIIKO CHIRIKUNETSA? Akafurira Elton and is obviously trying to fight for Elton. One more thing, Elton ,Tendai, Roy and like-minded you are still small in Zim politics. Learn first

Zimtroubles - 12 March 2014

Yes when a person is emotional he/she speaks the truth ,this statement was very true and powerful to deny,"we were selling hopes and dreams while ZANU PF was selling practical realities......farms.......loans...."Remember that Zimboz are most educated people in Africa(and maybe better than most EU countries) so they know exactly what they want.ln 2013 they went straight for that thru elections.

Chaitichouya Chikopokopo - 12 March 2014

My problem with Biti and Mangoma, is if your constitution clearly spells that,elections of leaders is done on congress, so where is the need to call for leadership change now, what is the hurry mr.sg, who is pressurising you, and if you are not interested in being the president who are you putting your vote on.

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fireplaces - 12 March 2014

@yahwe hanzi democracy tsvangirai ave ne15 yrs ari president weparty yenyu is that democracy .hanti momudzosa nekumuda isu tikadzosera baba chatunga kuti vatimiririre moti we dont know the principles of democracy....you mdc supporters pamuchazosvinura you will see that tsvangurai arikukushandisai iyewo achishandiswa nema wstern countries they want him in power so that they can loot our resources. ndozvatati isu sezanu pf hatidi kunzwa nezvazvo......you should be crytical in your aproach to everything kwete kungofunga sevanhu vakafa....ngwarai mhani mondigwadzisa

gokwe power - 13 March 2014

Mr Biti from what you said and did since MDC lost elections you're just like an other corrupt person in our society. You said you believe justice but I think you believe in MONEY not justice. Mr. Gono stole from the state and other citizens and you KNOW it and you once said it. The question is why are you his attorney? MONEY. Mr Biti stop trying convince us before you convince yourself. Whether you're one of the founding people of MDC you don't own the MDC. You messed up period, or maybe your mouth leaks just apologise.

Christ in Me - 14 March 2014

Mr Biti from what you said and did since MDC lost elections you're just like an other corrupt person in our society. You said you believe justice but I think you believe in MONEY not justice. Mr. Gono stole from the state and other citizens and you KNOW it and you once said it. The question is why are you his attorney? MONEY. Mr Biti stop trying convince us before you convince yourself. Whether you're one of the founding people of MDC you don't own the MDC. You messed up period, or maybe your mouth leaks just apologise.

Christ in Me - 14 March 2014

Mr Biti from what you said and did since MDC lost elections you're just like an other corrupt person in our society. You said you believe justice but I think you believe in MONEY not justice. Mr. Gono stole from the state and other citizens and you KNOW it and you once said it. The question is why are you his attorney? MONEY. Mr Biti stop trying convince us before you convince yourself. Whether you're one of the founding people of MDC you don't own the MDC. You messed up period, or maybe your mouth leaks just apologise.

Christ in Me - 14 March 2014

Mr Biti from what you said and did since MDC lost elections you're just like an other corrupt person in our society. You said you believe justice but I think you believe in MONEY not justice. Mr. Gono stole from the state and other citizens and you KNOW it and you once said it. The question is why are you his attorney? MONEY. Mr Biti stop trying convince us before you convince yourself. Whether you're one of the founding people of MDC you don't own the MDC. You messed up period, or maybe your mouth leaks just apologise.

Christ in Me - 14 March 2014

Mr Biti from what you said and did since MDC lost elections you're just like an other corrupt person in our society. You said you believe justice but I think you believe in MONEY not justice. Mr. Gono stole from the state and other citizens and you KNOW it and you once said it. The question is why are you his attorney? MONEY. Mr Biti stop trying convince us before you convince yourself. Whether you're one of the founding people of MDC you don't own the MDC. You messed up period, or maybe your mouth leaks just apologise.

Christ in Me - 14 March 2014

Mr Biti from what you said and did since MDC lost elections you're just like an other corrupt person in our society. You said you believe justice but I think you believe in MONEY not justice. Mr. Gono stole from the state and other citizens and you KNOW it and you once said it. The question is why are you his attorney? MONEY. Mr Biti stop trying convince us before you convince yourself. Whether you're one of the founding people of MDC you don't own the MDC. You messed up period, or maybe your mouth leaks just apologise.

Christ in Me - 14 March 2014

Mr Biti from what you said and did since MDC lost elections you're just like an other corrupt person in our society. You said you believe justice but I think you believe in MONEY not justice. Mr. Gono stole from the state and other citizens and you KNOW it and you once said it. The question is why are you his attorney? MONEY. Mr Biti stop trying convince us before you convince yourself. Whether you're one of the founding people of MDC you don't own the MDC. You messed up period, or maybe your mouth leaks just apologise.

Christ in Me - 14 March 2014

Mr Biti from what you said and did since MDC lost elections you're just like an other corrupt person in our society. You said you believe justice but I think you believe in MONEY not justice. Mr. Gono stole from the state and other citizens and you KNOW it and you once said it. The question is why are you his attorney? MONEY. Mr Biti stop trying convince us before you convince yourself. Whether you're one of the founding people of MDC you don't own the MDC. You messed up period, or maybe your mouth leaks just apologise.

Christ in Me - 14 March 2014

Mr Biti from what you said and did since MDC lost elections you're just like an other corrupt person in our society. You said you believe justice but I think you believe in MONEY not justice. Mr. Gono stole from the state and other citizens and you KNOW it and you once said it. The question is why are you his attorney? MONEY. Mr Biti stop trying convince us before you convince yourself. Whether you're one of the founding people of MDC you don't own the MDC. You messed up period, or maybe your mouth leaks just apologise.

Christ in Me - 14 March 2014

Mr Biti from what you said and did since MDC lost elections you're just like an other corrupt person in our society. You said you believe justice but I think you believe in MONEY not justice. Mr. Gono stole from the state and other citizens and you KNOW it and you once said it. The question is why are you his attorney? MONEY. Mr Biti stop trying convince us before you convince yourself. Whether you're one of the founding people of MDC you don't own the MDC. You messed up period, or maybe your mouth leaks just apologise.

Christ in Me - 14 March 2014

Mr Biti from what you said and did since MDC lost elections you're just like an other corrupt person in our society. You said you believe justice but I think you believe in MONEY not justice. Mr. Gono stole from the state and other citizens and you KNOW it and you once said it. The question is why are you his attorney? MONEY. Mr Biti stop trying convince us before you convince yourself. Whether you're one of the founding people of MDC you don't own the MDC. You messed up period, or maybe your mouth leaks just apologise.

Christ in Me - 14 March 2014

Mr Biti from what you said and did since MDC lost elections you're just like an other corrupt person in our society. You said you believe justice but I think you believe in MONEY not justice. Mr. Gono stole from the state and other citizens and you KNOW it and you once said it. The question is why are you his attorney? MONEY. Mr Biti stop trying convince us before you convince yourself. Whether you're one of the founding people of MDC you don't own the MDC. You messed up period, or maybe your mouth leaks just apologise.

Christ in Me - 14 March 2014

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